Looking at my last blog post and this one, it almost seems like they are pictures of two different girls with two different fashion tastes. We all know how changing an outfit can change your entire attitude right? Well, to me, changing an entire genre of style feels like I'm transforming into a new person. Sometimes, I do this to guard myself against external factors (A tough week coming up? I'll be dressed to the teeth in a wrap dress and stilettos. Little do you know that the shapewear underneath feels like armor to me, and the heels feel like weapons). Or in the case of this outfit post, I dress to express internal conflict or desires.. (cont'd below)
Crop top: H&M
Bag: Forever 21 (last year), this year's F21 version here
Cap: H&M. I couldn't find another Marge hat, but here is Homer's Duff cap
Shoes: Converse (leather edition)
Lately, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of of classic looks with trench coats and sheath dresses, but I'm becoming intrigued with what I call "fob" style. I know this term carries a lot of cultural baggage, but I think that's precisely why I'm interested: it can be considered derogatory slang, but can an Asian-American like me reclaim it to celebrate fashion?
Image from Cheeserland
Complicating things is the fact that I've distanced myself from my cultural roots in the past precisely to avoid being called a "fob," from practicing my English endlessly until I had no trace of an accent or refraining from bringing my favorite stinky pork buns to the school cafeteria. When I wore this outfit, I received strange stares and even a comment from a friend that "you have to take the hat off or else they're going to think we imported you."
Can an outfit reclaim an identity by being subversive? When people were judging this outfit, I wanted to tell them, "I'm really not this person---I just wore this outfit today!" But why did I feel the need to even make that declaration? And as I know too well, merely "wearing an outfit" can carry important social meaning in a visual world. Perhaps I was just being cowardly; I could adopt a funny "fob" persona for a day before, and escape the judgment that comes with the identity by reverting back to my normal self. But what is "normal"? I was fresh-off-the-boat, and although I can try to assimilate as much as I want, sometimes I see the Asian tourists hanging around Boston in their puffy pants and neon track jacket, and I think,
"I could be that girl."
As some sort of compromise, I trade out personas on my fashion blog, shedding old skins and exchanging them for new ones everyday, always looking for myself.